Pitch Madness is truly Madness. Over 400 submissions racked up in the inbox, giving the slush readers an immense job to root out the entries that would progress onto the next rounds. Those who progressed then bumped into round two, where they were subjected to the same treatment. If a submission managed to squeeze into the third round, that's where the hosts and co-host came in.
So, why did the hosts pick what they picked?
Here were our top ten reasons:
1) Kickass concepts (original, well thought out, commerical or potentially award-winning)
2) Writing with voice and character
3) A piece we'd love to read to our own kids/teens
4) A submission that would fall into current editor and agent wish list needs (yes, we do actually research the agents participating, and so should you, as it heightens your chances of being picked!)
5) Submissions with parallels to other books (we liked retellings and reimaginings, and books that could slide into a gap in a burgeoning market)
6) Books that gave us something unusual (we liked to take a few risks)
7) Writing with a good balance of character, pertinent detail, but not too much description in the opening pages
8) Genre mash-ups (we find those really cool!)
9) Something that put a new twist on an old idea
10) That indefinable X Factor
So there's a little insight on our reasons for picking what we picked.
And I tell you what, for all of you being such good sports, I'm going to give away ten first chapter critiques to the first ten people who comment on the blog and say what it is THEY like in a entry.
P.S. My comments in reply don't count as one of the ten! ;-)